Valtteri Bottas remains the pole position at the season finale in Abu Dhabi for 0025 seconds. The Finnish explains why Mercedes was not dominant as opposed to Friday and where he lost most of his time on Max Capture in the Red Bull.
We already saw in the third Free Training that the Red Bull is very fast especially with Max at the wheel. I think our main problem today was that we could not get the soft tyres to work optimally. The medium was the best tyre for us today,”explains the Finnish.
Although it has been able to increase, when looking at the result he has to admit that he could not get”a hundred percent”out of the soft tyre on one lap.”The average tyre is not the best tyre for us today.” I was not entirely satisfied with the round itself, the balance was not perfect.”
Most of the time lost in the middle sector
Even after the first Q3 attempt Bottas was on the provisional pole position. In the last attempt, he went straight after teammate Lewis Hamilton. In the first sector he created only a personal best time (17.050) and thus already fell into the background against Hamilton (16.984) and Verstappen (17.030).
The decisive factor for Bottas’short defeat was the second sector: He did not make any improvement in the middle, especially in the first mini-sectors around the curve passage 5/6 in front of the hairpin it only glowed yellow. In the end, 0063 seconds were missing in that section on constipation (40.750), a little less on Hamilton (40.757).
Only in the third sector did Bottas create an absolute best time (37.408), but with that only about half a tenth of a second could catch up –not enough to catch up with his competition in the Red Bull (37.466).” Towards the end of the qualification I had more problems with the front of the car,”he explains.
Bottas assumes that the difficulties were related to the cooling track. This made it more difficult to improve. I thought we should be a bit faster than in training, but Red Bull has managed better to get everything out of the last part of the qualifying.”
On the Yas Marina Circuit it is generally difficult to get the perfect round, Bottas says. That, of course, is always the goal, but you can still find a few hundred hundred here and there. So, yes, I could have done a better job.”
The later and cooler it got, the more trouble he got.” I was surprised how little time we could get out, even though the track got better.”Compared to his FT2 best time on Friday, Bottas only found an improvement of one second in Q3.
Only one and a half tenths improved in Q3
” how much time you could get out of the soft tyre on a quick lap,”he summarises again.”I’m sorry. My feeling on the medium was too good compared to the soft one, which probably means that I did not show everything on the soft tire.”
In the end he managed a personal improvement of 0144 seconds from the first to the second Q3 attempt. For comparison: Capture made a much bigger leap (0273 seconds).
In Q2 the Finnish on the tougher medium tyre was able to qualify for the Shootout, so he will also start on the yellow marked Pneum on Sunday – as well as Hamilton and Capture. What does he expect for the last race of the year?
“Generally we have a strong package, no matter on which track. All the long runs were a little damaged on Friday, but we know that our car is good and I felt comfortable on the medium.”Bottas hopes for a conciliatory season finale after three races without podium.” I’m sure we’ll fight for victory.”